“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11)

Veiled Dance of the Illusionist

With clever guise and subtle moves,
He slips unnoticed through the wings;
Each calculated step behooves
Deceptions veiled in pretty things.

His words of truth initiate,
The clever plan to undermine;
Assurances intoxicate
The heart like the smoothest of wine.

Human weakness is his way in;
Trials provide the time and place.
How subtle is the road to sin!
Weak hearts fall like hailstones from grace.

To faith, the strong of heart hold fast;
To truth, the humble hearts will cling;
For these, temptation will not last,
Nor will the tempter place his sting.

On holy souls, he wages war,
To fell them at each step and turn;
To divide them from the Savior,
In hope that they will fall and burn.

Though he mimics, true peace eludes
His command of vision and sign;
Each encounter with him concludes
With an absence of the Divine.

The closer to God the soul nears,
The stronger his battles will rage;
Union of love casts out all fears,
And silences the dark rampage.

For those who trust, mercy’s replete
With grace, and vict’ry is complete.

May the Spirit grant us the strength of will to be vigilant in temptation, steadfast in faith, and humble in trials so that His grace may triumph over the evil one.

(c) Paul Buis, 2007